The Sector / Description


In 2022, total Spanish output was 6,3 million tons, split as 1,5 million tons of pulp and 6,3 million tons of paper and cardboard, from 10 pulp mills and 69 paper and paperboard plants. Spain is the sixth paper and the fith pulp producer in the EU.

The industry directly employs 16,968 people, although indirectly the sector has working relationships with over 84,800 people. 

There are many types of paper used in each case for specific applications - books, newspapers, healthcare and personal hygiene, boxes, packaging, bags, sacks, etc.

Two types of raw material are involved in the manufacture of paper and board: virgin pulp and recycled fibre obtained from used paper.

Virgin pulp is primarily used to produce printing and writing papers, toilet and healthcare papers and certain specialty papers. By contrast, recycled fibre is the key ingredient in the production of newsprint and paper for packaging.

Important features of the Spanish industry worthy of highlight include:

• The production of bleached hardwood pulp using eucalyptus, a fast growing species that is especially apt for the favourable weather conditions in the Iberian Peninsula, and
• The high recovered paper Use Rate of 79,6%: Spain is the third largest recycler in Europe, behind Germany, France and Italy.

The regions of Aragon, Catalonia, Basque Country, Navarra, Castile and Leon and Valencia are the areas with the most paper mills. Around eighty mills are distributed throughout the entire country.

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